Fiftyfifty: Reading 50 Books, Watching 50 Films

Over on you can sign up to be part of a challenge: read 50 books for 2012, watch 50 films for 2012.

Reading’s no problem. But do I watch 50 films?

Most of the time, there’s a kid movie playing on TV when there is a movie on. Most of the time, it’s an abysmal kid movie, like a Chipmunk or the Beverly Hills Chihuahuas (which Little Girl calls “Chicka-wa-wa”). The kids love these movies and I think they’re mostly harmless, but trying to pay attention to them is like slow drip water torture. I am serious. If I get captured by enemies they can play some annoying kid’s movie and I will crack like an old porcelain vase. Bad kid-movie-watching is probably banned under the Geneva Convention, though. So, I may be in the same room, but I am not usually watching the movie– I’m reading or cleaning or cooking or something.

Also, we unsubscribed from the DVD option at Netflix, which means to watch newer movies, we can either pay $5 for the cable on-demand movies, or drive to the Redbox. Because we never plan ahead, this might be difficult.

I mostly hate going to see movies in theaters because of people. I know this makes me sound Andy-Rooney-level misanthropic, but really. When I go to a movie, no matter what movie it is, there is someone from one of these groups here:

  • Kids. We went to Tropic Thunder in a theater, and some moron brought a little kid. I spent the whole movie worried about this little kid being exposed to the R-rated movie, imagining this kid bringing his ill-wrought interactions on my kids.  Also, if I don’t have or can’t afford a babysitter, I’d either stay home or go to a PG movie. Not bring my kid to a 10 o’clock showing of an R-rated comedy they won’t get anyway.
  • Old people. I cannot wait for the day I am old and I, too, can have no verbal filter and unabashedly disturb others during movies. The Descendants, daytime showing. Two elderly couples strolled in late and talked loudly in the aisles. “I can’t see! I told you to leave earlier, dammit.” “It’s not MY fault you wouldn’t park where I said.” They grasped my shoulder as they went by so they wouldn’t fall. The people in front of us: “What did he say? Who’s that? Is that George Clooney? He looks OLD. So old.”
  • Young People and their Stupid Smart Phones. They cannot live without checking that flashlight-bright screen every 10 minutes. It’s a beacon– my eyes are drawn away from the screen and to the kid a few aisles down.
  • Cologne. Perpetrated by all sorts of age ranges. It doesn’t matter if it’s cheap or if it’s expensive. It makes me sneeze and if I can smell you from a hundred yards away, you’re wearing too much.


I digress(this must be why it takes me so long to write a blog post!) but you get the idea. I don’t go to movies much and I don’t watch them much at home. TV shows, yes. I just started watching Downton Abbey (it’s Masterpiece Theater, can I count that as a film or two?).

Anyway, I will try to do this challenge and blog about it here. There you have it.

Also, I found a plan to watch movies regularly, a plan which, curiously enough, came from a BOOK. Barbara Kingsolver’s ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE, in which she says she has a weekly movie night during which she makes pizza.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “Fiftyfifty: Reading 50 Books, Watching 50 Films

  1. I thought we could have a Christmas movie night each week in December. However, our first pick was so depressing no one wanted to see any more. I’ll stick with the books. But good luck to you!

  2. First off, no wonder I like you so much! We have the same feelings about going to the movies. I hate it! It’s expensive and inconvenient and I can’t stand the people either. I’d much rather watch in the comfort of my house where I can pause for a potty break and the only person around me is my husband. It’s such a waste of money and time. Anyway, love the movie every week idea. Forgot about that one. I loved Animal, Vegetable Miracle.

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